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Advice by Thea Pettifer // Photograph by Kali Yuga 

How do you tell an acquaintance you have a crush on them?

Photograph by Kali Yuga 


I have a slight problem – I have a crush on someone who is in year 12 and I’m in year 11 (i.e they’ll be leaving after their exams are done and I’ll never see them again).

Sooo basically I know them (as in we’re acquaintances) but we don’t talk regularly (if at all), she smiles at me when I walk past and sometimes joins in conversations I’m in – and I sort of don’t reply with much- but other than that nothing.. – so it would be weird to say anything. (I met them in a class last year and we were sort of friends then and then drifted apart). So anyway – what should I do? I think it would be really sad to let it slide and just never see her again after this year because we only live once and all that and even if a relationship didn’t happen I would love to be friends with her. But on the other hand I feel like it would be weird to initiate a conversation (I get the feeling she doesn’t like me very much, I just get mixed messages – e.g sometimes she’ll smile at me and other times she’ll just act weird and avoid eye contact whenever I walk past). Thanks!
p.s I have joined a club she’s in (which turned out to be a lot of fun) but there’s not really many chances to talk to her directly.

Dear Crusher,

Thea here, Ramona’s current intern! Firstly, thanks for writing in. We know it’s hard to put yourself on the line, we well done for reaching out!

Feelings towards acquaintances can sometimes be confusing. Because you will often yearn for what you’re curious about and this is what will spark your initial feelings.
It is clear you are wanting to act on these feelings and put yourself out there, which is honestly all anyone can do. It is difficult when you have a lose connection to someone and don’t cross paths regularly, and when you do it seems awkward and unnatural.

Now that you are both part of the same club this could be a great opportunity to pull her aside after class and see if she wants to catch up outside of school. This is a good way to remove yourself from the pressures of the school ground setting and just be comfortable in a safe space, like your favorite café or park. She may or may not be giving you mixed messages, and having alone time means you can continue to be friendly with her and possibly move out of the ‘friend zone’ and into the ‘romantic partner zone’, or you might just stay where you are now.

From personal experience, rejection is a part of life and getting closure in a situation like this is hugely beneficial for you and your peace of mind. It’s always better to act on something and deal with some rejection than be curious about what could’ve been. It makes it much easier to move on that way. But who knows, she could be feeling the exact way you are!

If it does not progress to a romantic relationship you will need to be completely open with her because you want to remain friends. Telling her you’ve had feelings for her shouldn’t be shameful and as long as you’re both on the same page about where your relationship stands, you can move forward in whatever way is comfortable for you both.

Good luck with everything! Feel free to write into us again and tell us how it went! We’d love to know!


Thea Pettifer

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